Tag Archives: American history

Eric Miller on intellectual history’s attempt to revive itself

Intellectual historian Eric Miller

A couple of years ago, I was sorting through the annual pile of books that comes to my door as a judge in the Christianity Today Book Awards (history and biography category). It was The Year of the Erics. A little giddy with the “new book smell,” I ploughed through Eric Metaxas‘s Big Bonhoeffer Book–critiqued at last week’s Wheaton Bonhoeffer conference, I understand, for being “not scholarly enough.” Then I turned to Eric Miller‘s biography of Christopher Lasch, Hope in a Scattering Time, with a thrill of anticipation.

You see, during my graduate studies, Lasch’s own Culture of Narcissism had struck me with all the force of revelation. This was history as moral crusade, and an acute analysis of American culture to boot. The sort of thing that might even convince a reader that the history of ideas, though hoary with age and encrusted with the critiques of modern “social historians” and “cultural historians,” still carries great power and usefulness. Continue reading

A treasure trove of 19th-century 4th of July speeches, readable online

Check out this treasure trove of 4th of July orations, mostly from the 19th century, readable online, courtesy of “the Internet Archives.”

The archive is extensive and includes addresses by

John Quincy Adams,

Unitarian minister Edward Everett Hale,

first senate majority leader Henry Cabot Lodge,

American historian and statesman George Bancroft,

education reformer Horace Mann,

Harvard mathematician Benjamin Peirce,

abolitionist and social reformer William Lloyd Garrison,

theologian and Swedenborgian Henry James Sr. (also father of the more famous Henry and William James),

and many others.